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Masa Finance partners with Pngme to provide DeFi services to emerging markets

By Edlyn Cardoza

June 09, 2022

  • Africa
  • API
  • Celo
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Masa Finance, FinTech, Silicon Valley, DeFi, Pngme, Financial Data, DeFi Lenders, API, Chainanalysis, SME Lending, Financial Inclusion, Celo, Nigeria, Kenya, AfricaSilicon Valley DeFi protocol Masa Finance recently announced that it is partnering with African financial data company Pngme to drive the adoption of DeFi credit services in the region. The partnership will give DeFi lenders across Nigeria and Kenya access to more than 250 off-chain financial data sources–including credit bureau data–to automate credit decisions through smart contracts while keeping data confidential.

Pngme is a credit and lending API that caters to the sub-Saharan market, enabling digital banks and FinTechs to collect and aggregate financial data on credit-invisible and thin-file users. Its mobile SDK, Credit Bureau API, and data processing pipelines make it easy to collect alternative financial data and unify it off-chain to create a holistic picture of an individual’s finances. In doing so, Pngme powers new insights on credit-invisible and underserved customers previously inaccessible through traditional credit products.

“This partnership marks the first instance of bringing DeFi lending products and off-chain credit scoring capabilities to emerging markets. Masa and Pngme’s goals center on building critical infrastructure to drive financial inclusion. This is a huge step in providing access to credit for those who need it most.” said Brendan Playford, Masa’s founder.

Masa is essential for on-chain lending to succeed as demand for DeFi and cryptocurrency services in Africa surge. Chainanalysis ranks Nigeria and Kenya among the top 10 countries for cryptocurrency use, with 33.4 million Nigerians owning a cryptocurrency. Masa taps into this market by allowing DeFi lenders to build decentralized lending products such as SME loans, mortgages, and micro-loans. In addition, partnerships with platforms like Goldfinch open access to previously unavailable pools of capital to fund a DeFi lenders loan book.

Masa will launch on Celo, its first DeFi credit product in partnership with the Celo Foundation’s DeFi for the People Initiative, which recently led a novel employer-based lending pilot in Kenya with Mercy Corps Ventures, Moola Market, and Kotani Pay.

“Our goal is to make DeFi accessible to the 6 billion mobile phone users around the world. We see Kenya and Nigeria as key markets, given crypto’s growing adoption today, where DeFi can offer financial tools that empower people who have been historically excluded from traditional financial products,” said Nikhil Raguveera, Strategy & Innovation Partner, Celo Foundation.

Masa’s expansion into the African market follows the successful completion of a $3.5 million pre-seed funding round through this partnership. Masa is now raising a seed round to increase the engineering team’s size and launch the protocol’s production release, conduct a public token sale, scale users and node operators, and bring developers and lenders to the platform.

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